A MAN WHO ROBBED a pawnbrokers and a bank in Hackney – in one case threatening a shopkeeper with a knife – has been jailed for a total of over eight years.
The offences were committed by Dane Seraphin, 35, of no fixed abode, who was sentenced at St Alban’s Crown Court last week.
The first offence occurred on 12th August last year at the Santander Bank in Kingsland High Street. As a member of the bank’s staff opened the door to let a colleague in, Seraphin and an accomplice rang into the bank and grabbed two money cassette-boxes. The robbers probably did not realise the boxes were empty and ran off with their loot.
As they ran away, they were seen by an off duty police officer who picked up a baseball cap which had fallen off one of the men. It was later analysed and DNA was found which matched with Seraphin’s DNA.
The second offence was committed in November last year. A customer in a pawnbrokers on Kingsland High Street, Hackney was being shown some jewellery when Seraphin came into the shop and grabbed a necklace. The shop assistant tried to grab Seraphin back as if to stop him leaving the shop, but Seraphin punched him and ran out. The assistant ran after him and caught up with him in Boleyn Road – at which point Seraphin produced a kitchen knife with a six inch blade and lunged at the assistant’s body. He seemed to be trying to stab the assistance in the stomach, but he only managed to tear his clothing and then ran off again. Seraphin was caught on CCTV and Flying Squad detectives were able to identify him.
Some days later, Seraphin and two accomplices were arrested in connection with a knife-point robberty at a post office in Hertfordshire. Seraphin was formally arrested on 5th April in connection with the Hackney robberies. He appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 30th August, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.
Detective Constable Dave Crewe of the Met’s Flying Squad said, “Seraphin is a violent robber who has now been sentenced to a total of eight years and eight months in jail. He showed a complete disregard for the staff in the premises that he targeted. The shopkeeper who was threatened with the knife escaped serious injury only due to his quick reactions in moving away from the knife. I am glad this defendant is now off the streets of London and will be unable to commit any more offences of this nature.”